Poirier has remained out of action since his last outing against the uncrowned lightweight champion Charles Oliveira at UFC 269 in Dec. 2021. After a second unsuccessful undisputed title shot, the former interim title holder had doubts about his future in the weight class.
He hinted at a possible move up to welterweight and rallied for a matchup with fellow fan favorite Nate Diaz, who was willing to make the fight happen. The promotion showed no interest, and all talks fizzled out.
Last month, Poirier declared in an Aug. 26 tweet that he would take to the octagon on Nov. 12, presumably on the UFC 281 card in the company’s long-awaited return to Madison Square Garden in New York. On Sep. 1, another message claiming the same was written by “Diamond” in response to a user.
Former UFC title challenger Michael Chandler was expected to be his opponent but “Iron” Mike did not confirm the news. Neither did the UFC, or White, who had remained silent on Poirier’s string of tweets claiming he got booked for a fight.
At the post-fight press conference for past Tuesday’s “Dana White’s Contender Series,” White gave an update on the potential showdown between Poirier and Chandler.
“Yeah,” White said. ” if we get it done, we will announce it. We don’t have it done yet.”
Poirier and Chandler Got Into an Altercation at UFC 276
During the International Fight Week marquee event of UFC 276 in July, Poirier crossed paths with Chandler, who was also in attendance at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Things got heated between the two as a fired-up Poirier confronted Chandler for not calling him out for a bout in May’s UFC 274 post-fight octagon interview.
Poirier argued that he would be a bad pairing for Chandler, stylistically, and believes it to be the reason for his omission.
“I’m a dangerous fight for him. I think I’m a clean puncher, accurate,” Poirier said via MMA Fighting. “He called out Conor [McGregor], think Conor is a dangerous fight for him, too. I’m not saying Chandler’s chinny or anything, but he gets hurt in a lot of his fights, and guys like Conor, they can punch. If you’re getting hurt by Tony Ferguson and dropped by [Charles] Oliveira, guys like me, guys like Conor, if we touch your chin, it’s gonna be bad.”
Chandler Revealed the Origins of His Dispute With Poirier
When former Bellator champion Chandler made his way into the UFC, he was a newcomer without the star power he now possesses. Poirier had dismissed the idea of taking him on earlier with a sly dig that Chandler did not like.
Although he shares a fierce rivalry with Poirier, Chandler also sees similarities with his foe.
“I agree with you on how Dustin is and how he carries himself, what he does, the champion he is, the father/husband that he is, the community servant that he is,” said Chandler via MMA News. “I truly believe that you don’t see a lot of controversy coming out of Dustin. I think we’re very similar. He and I have had similar paths, both small-town kids getting after it.
“Sometimes the most similar people kinda butt heads if you will, but I think it does stem back to him saying ‘hey instead of fighting Chandler I’d rather sell hot sauce.’”